India has 28 world heritage sites and 25 bio-geographic zones. The country’s big coastline provides a number of attractive beaches, and diverse offerings such as adventure, rural and wildlife tourism.
India ranked 12th among 184 countries in terms of travel and tourism‘s total contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012. The sector’s direct contribution to GDP is expected to grow at 7.8 per cent per annum during 2013–2023 vis-à-vis the world average of 4.2 per cent.
Over 6.6 million foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) were reported in 2012, expanding at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8 per cent during 2005–2012. By 2020 FTAs is expected to reach 8.9 million according to World Tourism Organisation (WTO).
The total foreign exchange earnings (FEEs) from tourism grew over US$ 17.7 billion in 2012, registering a CAGR of 13.1 per cent during 2005–2012. By October 2013, FEEs increased by 3.9 per cent to reach US$ 14.6 billion from US$ 14 billion in the same period in 2012.
The tourism policy of the Government of India aims at speedy implementation of tourism projects, development of integrated tourism circuits, special capacity building in the hospitality sector and new marketing strategies. In the hotel and tourism sector, the government has also allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) through automatic route.